Sicilian Mafia ‘Beast’ Toto Riina dies

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ROME: Former “boss of bosses” Toto Riina, one of the most feared Godfathers in the history of the Sicilian Mafia, died early Friday after battling cancer, the government said. Riina, who had been serving 26 life sentences and is thought to have ordered more than 150 murders, had been in a medically-induced coma after his health deteriorated following two operations. The mobster, who turned 87 on Thursday, died in the prisoners’ wing of a hospital in Parma in northern Italy just before 4 a.m. (0300 GMT), a ministry of justice spokesman told Agence France-presse. Nicknamed “The Beast” because of his cruelty, Salvatore “Toto” Riina led a reign of terror for decades after taking control of the island’s powerful organized crime group Cosa Nostra in the 1970s. The most high-profile murders he ordered were those in 1992 of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who had worked to bring more than 300 mobsters to trial in 1987.

AFP

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